Tuesday, June 12, 2007

2 Ideas for Novels that I've had for years that better writers stole from me

The first great novel idea I had was about a future dystopia after a nuclear holocaust. In the aftermath of a collapse of society humans struggle to retain the knowledge of the former advanced civilization cultivated from an idiosyncratic collection of history, science and literature written down by a slightly smarter than average guy -just like me.

On a remote "island" a group of survivors finds "my" books and crib notes of knowledge. They attempt to write up a constitution based on my humanism and try and use what they can gleam from the "books of the past" to build bridges. a squared + b Squared = u get the idea.

I write down everything I know in hopes that future generations won't have to relearn the scientific method. People have really long discursive literary "battles" full of footnoted references to stuff I made up. Kinda like Idiotocracy only future people aren't stupid, just ignorant.

What kind of battles you ask? Should they start a religion based on me. Am I the originator of knowledge like Socrates or did I just borrow a bunch of ideas and try and pass them off like Plato.

Who stole my idea?

Will Self's Book Of Dave

"it tells the story of an angry and mentally-ill Cockney London Taxi driver named Dave Rudman, who writes and has printed on metal a book of his rantings against women and thoughts on custody rights for fathers. These stem from his anger with his ex-wife, Michelle, who he believes is unfairly keeping him from his son. Equally influential in Dave's book is The Knowledge -- the intimate familiarity with the city of London required of its cabbies.

Dave buries the book, which is discovered centuries later and used as the sacred text for a misogynistic religion that takes hold in the remnants of southern England and London following catastrophic flooding. The future portions of the book are set over 500 years after its discovery. No real indication of how long the book sat undiscovered is given."

How did he ruin it?

Now I have nothing but the greatest of respect for Will Self. He's one of my favorite authors of all time. But he invents his own language for the book and has to include a glossary so that you can make sense of it. The book is simply unreadable for an American (Self is English) because it uses misspellings and a peculiar ghetto English dialect.

The second idea from me for a great novel was whisked away by Christopher Buckley in his novel Boomsday.

Again my novel takes place sometime in the Dystopian Future where an advertising agency started by two 20somethings (I was watching thirtysomething too much-I guess that dates me-) gets hired by the government to create an advertising campaign designed to convince people to kill themselves.

I was going to call the novel Dying- "made easy."

How Chris Buckley proved he is a writer and I am just a blogger.

"[His] novel takes place a few years in the future, shortly after Boomsday — the day when Baby Boomers start turning 65 and begin sinking the Social Security system. Cassandra Devine — a 20-something blogger still angry at her father for investing her college savings in a dot-com startup — decides to declare war on that pampered generation."

I could never come up with a reason why the government wanted people to die. I tried to solve the problem by having all the "customers" who fell for the campaign placed in vast holding tanks. But why the hell would the the government want to hold people in tanks? To save energy to prevent Global Warming. Yeah....retarded I know.

Buckley's take is that a war gets started by Gen X to relieve the overpopulation brought on by retiring Boomers who don't want to work anymore. Genuis, Sir. Pure genius.


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I fucking hated HATED 'The Book of Dave.' In fact, if I ever meet Will Self I'm going to smack him in the mouth and knee him in the groin for writing that piece of crap. Fucking glossary my ass, what a bastard. Who did he think he was Anthony Burgess?

Jezebelsriot said...

How the Dead Live is literally in my top three novels that I love immensely. The kind of novel I can read five separate times and get something different out of each time, some new understanding of the character, or themes, or humanity.

I looked forward to the Book of Dave. I couldn't wait for it to come out. I splurged and got the hardcover just because I just knew I would love it.

Fuck that book. Fuck it's indecipherable fictional dialogue with its own fucking glossary. Fuck the lagging narration, the dull fucking scenario, fuck the peeling your skin off layer by layer feeling you get in every chapter.

What the fuck was he thinking?

My only conclusion, being as I believe Self is a brilliant satirist and an even better writer- he wanted to piss us all off this bad.

Jezebelsriot said...

ps. I think you just need to go ahead and write this book. Because his sucked.

Romius T. said...

We should all three gang up on self and kick his ass for the book of dave.

Perhaps one day I may take up the idea. But in will's defense it is hard, no lets no defend that book!

Jezebelsriot said...

Of course it's hard, and before that catastrophe I would have said he was the perfect candidate. It's like when everyone asked Courtney Love how she planned on rocking in a Versace dress and she responded "Watch me" and I had absolute confidence in her. But then her album came out and it completely sucked. That's what this book was like for me.

I'm guessing you as a My Idea of Fun guy, but did you love How the Dead Live as well? I liked Tough Tough Toys too, but many of his other short story collections are almost indecipherable. I know there is a message imbedded in there, but I can't know what it is.

Romius T. said...


You got me! I love my idea of Fun. Probably my fave book of all time. Well it's close. Also liked Great Apes and Toys. Love most of his short stuff. I have not gotten thru all of dead. Its kinda slow or something for me.